Fenwick to shutter Bond Street store as building is sold
British department store chain Fenwick is to close its major Bond Street, London location after selling the building to a property firm for a rumoured price of over £400 million.
The store has been open for 130 years and the company was earlier reported to be mulling a partial conversion of the site to offices, an idea other nearby retailers such as John Lewis and M&S are also embracing.
But while the news that the family-owned business has finally decided to shut the store altogether may come as a surprise, a look around the store hints at a long-term decline.
The menswear department, for instance, has shrunk to a fraction of its former size, while the lucrative handbags category also has only a small presence.
The five-storey property is being bought by Lazari Investments but will continue to operate in its current form until 2024.
Fenwick chairman Simon Calver called the decision a “difficult” one but “absolutely the right thing for the business” with the proceeds of the sale set to get the business on a strong financial footing that can help it last for more than another century.
Fenwick was found in 1882 in Newcastle, and while Bond Street is a prestigious address, its Newcastle store is its flagship.
In recent years it has closed stores in locations such as Leicester and Windsor. The Bond Street closure will leave it with only eight stores.
But the company also now has a webstore, a channel to which it was a very-late-comer, having only entered e-tail in 2019.
The business reported sales of £240 million in the year to January, but it made a £5 million pre-tax loss.
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